Scientific Name: Varanus giganteus
What does it look like?
The Perentie is Australia’s largest lizard. Pale brown to brown above, with large, yellow, dark-edged spots on their body and tail forming transverse rows, and heavy dark brown or blackish speckling. Head and throat paler, with thin dark lines forming a reticulated pattern, and head with distinctive angular brow. Neck long with large, sagging throat, and a long tail with a yellow tip. Limbs powerful, blackish, and with large yellowish-cream spots. Underparts whitish or cream.
Where is it found?
Central and Western Australia, from central-western WA coast in broad inland band through southern NT and northern SA, to western Qld.
What are its habitats & habits?
The Perentie is found in arid sandy deserts, gorges, and rocky ranges, where it shelters in deep burrows in rocky outcrops and beneath boulders. Terrestrial, foraging over large areas for lizards, snakes, mammals, birds, and invertebrates, but will also eat carrion. The Perentie detects food using their large, forked tongue. Oviparous, laying around 9 parchment-shelled eggs in a clutch.
This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia